Here are the edited versions with accents and corrected Spanish words that I submitted misspelled. I am embarrassed to say the least.
“What You Can Count On”
La Superior is a bakery on Cupples Road
Where pan dulce, tortillas, French bread más fino
and matchmaking is dispensed.
Bet your bottom dollar.
La Superior – how haughty,
employing young neighborhood girls
to bag at the client’s prolonged requests –
“Dos de pan de huevo… un marranito… tres cuernos…”
And these girls mentally adding the cost
as the orders go on
…”Y échale dos empanadas de camote,
my sweet potato – one for you and one for me”
La Superior – most exceptional.
This, the place where my parents met.
My first employer too – at $5 an hour
I’d count by fives and tens and hand out an order,
not skipping a beat,
– “I don’t like empanadas. Quién sigue?!”
What I should have confessed when you called to ask if todo está bien,
aunque dije bien, bien, bien…
was how the disappointment of an empty room astonishes me –
as if the wooden threshold could be Arkansas mud
and the next room ought to be an open field of blue bonnets
en vez de encontrar un cuarto desnudo de tu luz.
Quise decir to you, confess
I’m lonelier than I let on and too cabeza dura to mention
that I sit and meditate on the swash of tires trekking the wet roads
foolishly convinced a tempestuous surf was lashing my walls
and I was caught in a sea storm never to see you again.
La verdad es que
this solitude occupies me like swallows in the south during December.
Sólo en ti pienso and I fly down a hallway too narrow for these impatient wings,
desesperarda when the phone rings that it might be you.
I must tell you I am lonely, lonely, lonely